TGIFF – Sparkleworks
Back in March 2013, our friend Lee of Freshly Pieced announced a quilt along she was about to start. It was called Bloom Bloom Pow in reference to those crazy Black Eyed Peas featuring Will.I.Can’t. This was my first exposure to a quilt along (how much has changed in a year!?) and I decided to jump right in. I grabbed some of my Aussie faves (Quiet Play, Ms. Midge, Mishi Kichi) and we decided to have a good hard go at it, supporting each other every step of the way. Quiet Play and Ms. Midge already debuted their fabulous creations, and here I sit, finally able to show you mine!
This is Sparkleworks, my take on the Bloom Bloom Pow quilt along. It started with a batik rainbow fat quarter bundle that patron saint, Grandma Sparkles sent me. When I saw it, it reminded me of glistening fireworks, so I used that as the inspiration for this piece. If you would like to see some progress shots, check this post out: An Artist Again. I’m here to tell you, don’t be afraid of all batiks! Of course, be wary of the Hawaiian shirt variety, but there are others with deeply-saturated colours and non-traditional, geometric patterns that are divine!
While most of the participants (and the original quilt along instructions) suggested using a white background, y’all know I could never follow the crowd. I had to do my own thang! So I gathered some black patterned batiks, and created a scrappy collage of black for the background. I hoped this would emulate the subtleties of a black sky strewn with smoke and lingering embers.
You can see here the most amazing quilting by Jane Davidson (Quilt Jane) of Want it, Need it, Quilt! I chose this quilt design she had because I thought it would reinforce the snap! crackle! pop! of it all. It’s also quilted in a variegated rainbow thread to provide an extra layer of shimmering colour against the collage of black.
Of course I had to add my Glitter Flecked Binding, which is hand stitched down. I just can’t get fully on board with machine stitched binding on large quilts.
I gave each of the blooms extra dimension by using fabric with a lighter value at the forefront, and a darker value on the receding angled pieces. This contrast in fabrics, and the subtle colour shifts in batiks give depth to what otherwise might have been quite a flat quilt. Our friend Anne from Play Crafts is giving a lesson on contrast over at She Can Quilt that you will definitely find beneficial to your quilting process!
But wait! Where’re the pictures of the back?! Settle, petal! I designed the back of this quilt to be as interesting as the front, so, like me, it is truly reversible. (Won’t you back that ass up! LR!) I’ll bring you pictures of that scrappy, artistic explosion next Friday!
This is the quilt I’m currently using on the couch (even though it is summer in Australia), because I can’t help but love being wrapped in all that colour. You might have seen brilliant fireworks on New Year’s Day, but I get to see Sparkleworks year round!
Some quick quilt facts:
Size: 57″ x 80″
Quilting: King Tut Superior Threads, variegated rainbow
by Jane Davidson (Quilt Jane) of Want it, Need it, Quilt!
Binding: hand stitched with Aurifil 28 weight
Backing: Check it out next week!
Label: Check it out next week!
Favourite Part: Today? The saturated colours.
A special thank you to Freshly Pieced for such an inspirational quilt along!